The Spanish Guardia Civil, with the support of Europol and its European Economic and Financial Crime Centre have dismantled one of the largest criminal networks in Spain.
The criminal gang trafficked cocaine from South America to the Port of Algeciras in Spain which was then distributed throughout Europe.
The network was capable of controlling the maritime traffic of containers coming from South America.
The network consisted of different employees who worked in various key areas at the Port of Algeciras in Andalucia.
These employees included a worker from the container terminal, two workers at the Border Inspection Post, four from Auxiliary Maritime Services (SAM), and several freight forwarders, consignees and porters.
As a result of the operation 29 people have been arrested along with 1,600 kg of cocaine and more than €16.5 million seized in the biggest operation of its type in recent years.
The Guardia Civil initiated the investigation in August 2020. On 29 April this year, intelligence was received indicating the arrival of a large consignment of cocaine hidden among frozen mackerel to the Port of Algeciras.
Another suspect, who had been on the run from Spanish justice, was arrested in Amsterdam, under a European Arrest Warrant and executed by Dutch police officers. This individual had been on the run since 2017 due to his involvement in another drug operation.
Due to the criminal network’s international connections, the case was supported by the EFECC at Europol, supporting the economic investigation against the network and the alleged links of corruption with analytical and operational support.
The suspects are in police custody awaiting trial.